The Independent Institute

The Independent Institute (TII)


The Independent Institute is an Oakland, California-based think tank that describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan, scholarly research and educational organization that sponsors in-depth studies of critical social and economic issues.” [1]

Stance on Climate Change

According to TII's report, New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn’t Telling Us, climate change is “significantly less than forecast by climate models that are based on bad science. Annual satellite records show no significant change whatsoever.”

SkepticalScience examines this popular claim by climate change skeptics here.


According to its website, “The Independent Institute receives no government funding. Instead, it draws its support from a diverse range of foundations, businesses, and individuals, and from the sale of its publications.” It is a 501(c)(3) charity.

Media Transparency breaks down TII's funding as follows: [2]

Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets reports that TII has received a total of $85,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [3]

Key People

According to SourceWatch, members of TII's Board of Advisors including Robert D. Tollison, Richard E. Wagner and Thomas Gale Moore, TII Research Fellows Gary Anderson, Robert Ekelund, Dwight R. Lee, Mark Thornton, and S. Fred Singer, as well as Seneior fellow Richard Vedder have a “long history” of working with the Tobacco Institute and/or Philip Morris.

They were all member sof the 'Academic Advisory Board' for the pro-tobacco report “Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination” published by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) on August 11, 1994.

S. Fred Singer has also published numerous articles on TII's website, most of them skeptical of climate change.

Research Fellows

A full list of TII's research fellows is available on their website, but notable examples include climate change skeptics Deepak K. Lal, S. Fred Singer, and Frederick Seitz (In Memoriam).

Other notable examples (see above) include Gary Anderson, Robert Ekelund, Dwight R. Lee, and Mark Thornton.

Board of Directors

According to the Independent Institute's website, the Board of Directors includes: [4]

  • Gilbert I. Collins — Private Equity Manager.
  • John Hagel III — Co-Chairman, Center for the Edge, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.
  • Sally S. Harris — Vice Chairman of the Board, Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
  • Peter A. Howley — Chairman, The Howley Management Group.
  • Philip Hudner, Esq. — Botto Law Group.
  • Gary G. Schlarbaum Ph.D., CFA — Managing Director, Palliser Bay Investment Management.
  • Isabella Speakman — President, The Curran Foundation.
  • W. Dieter Tede — President, Audubon Cellars and Winery.
  • David J. Teece Ph.D. — Chairman and Principal Executive Officer; Berkeley Research Group, LLC.
  • David J. Theroux — Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Independent Institute.
  • Mary L. G. Theroux — Former Chairman, Garvey International, Inc.
  • Sally von Behren — Businesswoman and Philanthropist.

Board of Advisors

According to TII's website, the Board of Advisors includes: [5]

  • Leszek Balcerowicz — Professor of Department of International Comparative Studies, Warsaw School of Economics.
  • Jonathan Bean — Professor of History, Southern Illinois University.
  • Herman Belz — Professor Emeritus of History, University of Maryland.
  • Thomas Bethell — Columnist and Author, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages.
  • Thomas E. Borcherding — Professor of Economics, Claremont Graduate School.
  • Boudewijn R. A. Bouckaert — Professor of Law, University of Ghent, Belgium.
  • James M. Buchanan — Nobel Laureate in Economic Science; Emeritus University Professor, Center for the Study of Public Choice, George Mason University.
  • Allan C. Carlson — President, Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.
  • Robert D. Cooter — Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Robert W. Crandall —  Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution.
  • Richard A. Epstein — Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University.
  • A. Ernest Fitzgerald — Author, The High Priests of Waste and The Pentagonists: An Insider's View of Waste, Mismanagement and Fraud in Defense Spending.
  • George Gilder —  Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute.
  • Nathan Glazer — University Professor of Education and Sociology Emeritus, Harvard University.
  • William M. H. Hammett —  Former President, Manhattan Institute.
  • Ronald Hamowy — Emeritus Professor of History, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • Steve H. Hanke — Professor of Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University.
  • James J. Heckman — Nobel Laureate in Economic Science, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago.
  • Wendy Kaminer — Contributing Editor, The Atlantic Monthly; Member, Board of Directors, ACLU.
  • Lawrence A. Kudlow — Chief Executive Officer, Kudlow & Company; Co-Host, Kudlow & Cramer, CNBC; Former Associate Director for Economics and Planning, Office of Management and Budget.
  • John R. MacArthur —  Publisher, Harper's Magazine.
  • Deirdre N. McCloskey — Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • J. Huston McCulloch — Professor of Economics, Ohio State University.
  • Thomas Gale Moore —  Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  • Charles A. Murray W. H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.
  • Michael Novak —  George Frederick Jewett Chair in Religion and Public Policy, American Enterprise Institute.
  • June E. O’Neill — Director, Center for the Study of Business & Government, Baruch College; Former Director, U.S. Congressional Budget Office.
  • P. J. O’Rourke — Author, Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism, Eat the Rich, and Parliament of Whores.
  • Tom Peters —  Co-Author, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies ; Author, Liberation Management and A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Diffference.
  • Charles E. Phelps — Provost and Professor of Political Science and Economics, University of Rochester.
  •  Paul Craig Roberts — Chairman, Institute of Political Economy; Former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Nathan Rosenberg — Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor of Public Policy Emeritus in the Department of Economics and Senior Fellow for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University.
  • Paul H. Rubin —  Professor of Economics and Law, Emory University.
  • Bruce M. Russett — Dean Acheson Professor of International and Area Studies, Yale University; Editor, Journal of Conflict Resolution.
  • Pascal Salin —  Professor of Economics, Université Paris-Dauphine.
  • William F. Shughart II —  J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice, Utah State University.
  • Vernon L. Smith — Member of the Board of Advisors, The Independent Institute; Nobel Laureate in Economic Science; Professor of Law and Director of the Economic Science Institute, Chapman University.
  • Joel H. Spring —  Professor of Education, State University of New York, New Paltz.
  • Richard L. Stroup — Adjunct Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University; Professor of Economics, Montana State University.
  • Thomas S. Szasz —  Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, Health Science Center, State University of New York, Syracuse.
  • Robert D. Tollison —  BB&T Senior Fellow and Professor of Economics, Clemson University.
  • Arnold J. Trebach — Professor of Law, American University.
  • William Tucker — Author, The Excluded Americans: Homelessness and Housing Policies.
  • Gordon Tullock — University Professor of Law and Economics and Distinguished Research Fellow, George Mason University.
  • Gore Vidal — National Book Award-Winner, Playwright, Screenwriter, and Author of the “American Chronicle” Series of Historical Novels.
  • Richard E. Wagner — Hobart R. Hobart Professor of Economics, George Mason University.
  • Paul H. Weaver —  Former Washington Bureau Chief and Assistant Managing Editor, Fortune.
  • Walter E. Williams — John M. Olin Professor of Economics, George Mason University.
  • Charles Wolf — Senior Economist and Corporate Fellow, International Economics, RAND Corporation. Also senior fellow, Hoover Institution.


May 21 - 23, 2012

TII is listed as a Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago, Illinois.

June-July 2011

TII was a sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. [6]

DeSmogBlog found that sponsors for ICCC6 had collectively received over $46 million from either Scaife Foundations, Koch Foundations, or ExxonMobil and its foundation.

March, 2008

TII was a sponsor organization for the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1).

RealClimate reported on the conference, concluding that the “conference is not aimed at understanding, it is a PR event aimed at generating media reports.” [7]

July, 2003

Released a report titled New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn’t Telling Us written by climate change skeptics S. Fred Singer, John R. Christy, Robert E. Davis, David R. Legates, and Wendy M. Novicoff. [8]

Related Organizations


  1. About The Independent Institute,” The Independent Institute. Accessed March, 2012.

  2. The Independent Institute,” Media Transparency. Accessed March, 2012.

  3. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Indepent Institute.

  4. Board of Directors,” The Independent Institute. Accessed March, 2012.

  5. Board of Advisors,” The Independent Institute. Accessed March 11, 2012.

  6. Sponsors,” International Conference on Climate Change (

  7. What if you held a conference, and no (real) scientists came?,” RealClimate, January 30, 2008.

  8. Nation’s Leading Global Warming Experts Unveil New Findings on Climate Change,” (Press Release), the Independent Institute, July 28, 2003. Archived February 5, 2005.

  9. Independent Institute,” SourceWatch.

  10. GuideStar nonprofit report for Independent Institute.